Quote: “The Democrats are the party of cut and run.” President Bush, at a Republican fundraiser.
Figure of Speech: metallage (meh-TALL-uh-gee), the getting all medieval figure. From the Greek, meaning “making a swap.”
According to Republican labelers, Democrats seem to have undergone a policy change. They used to be the party of tax and spend. Now it’s cut and run. In what goes for political debate today, if you chew a label and spit it at your opponent often enough, it’ll stick.
In rhetorical terms, the tax and spend and cut and run labels constitute a cool figure. The metallage takes parts of speech that aren’t nouns — such as verbs or adjectives — and uses them as the object of a sentence. You can see a great instance of the figure in the film Pulp Fiction, where Samuel Jackson threatens “to get all medieval on your ass.”
Bush gets all medieval on the Republicans by turning the verbs “cut” and “run” into an object. Instead of the wimpy, “The Democrats are the party of timidity,” Bush’s metallage inserts a little film highlight depicting his opponents hightailing it out of Iraq.
Snappy Answer: “The Republicans are the party of spend and run.”